Florida passes 18,000 COVID-19 deaths of residents

FILE - Vials with samples taken for the new coronavirus are counted before they are prepared for RNA testing. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
FILE - Vials with samples taken for the new coronavirus are counted before they are prepared for RNA testing. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Florida reached another bleak milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic Monday when the state exceeded 18,000 resident deaths related to the disease.

The state reported 94 additional resident deaths Monday, bringing the total to 18,085 since the pandemic slammed into Florida and the rest of the country early this year, according to numbers posted online by the Florida Department of Health. Another 225 non-Florida residents have died related to COVID-19 in the state, including two non-Florida residents whose deaths were reported Monday, bringing the statewide death toll to 18,310.

Of the deaths reported Monday, 11 were in Northeast Florida: four in Duval County, two in Baker County, one in Alachua County, one in Columbia County, one in Flagler County, one in Putnam County and one in Union County.

Florida, the third most-populous state, has the fourth-highest death toll in the country, trailing New York, Texas and California, according to national statistics compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 257,000 people have died in the United States.

The state passed 18,000 resident deaths as it continues to see thousands of people test positive for COVID-19 each day -- and as it nears 1 million cases since the start of the pandemic. On Monday, the state Department of Health reported 6,331 new cases, bringing the total to 944,745.

Florida has also seen large increases in recent weeks of people hospitalized because of “primary” diagnoses of COVID-19. As of mid-afternoon Monday, 3,758 people were hospitalized with primary diagnoses of the disease, state Agency for Health Care Administration numbers showed. That was an increase of 145 from Sunday and 515 from Nov. 16.

On Oct. 23, the number of people hospitalized with primary diagnoses of COVID-19 totaled 2,116, according to daily totals compiled by The News Service of Florida.

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Florida added 1,745 resident deaths during the past month and 526 since Nov. 16.

The disease has posed the greatest danger to seniors, who have died and been hospitalized at far higher rates than younger people.

As of Monday, 14,913 of the resident deaths -- or 82.5% -- involved people 65 or older. People in that age group, however, made up only 14.8% of the overall cases.

By comparison, 140 people under age 35 had died, or less than 1% of the overall deaths. Meanwhile, people in that age group made up 40.9% of the overall cases.

As another illustration of the toll on seniors, the state has reported 7,166 deaths involving residents and staff members of long-term care facilities, with the vast majority of those deaths involving residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. That makes up almost 40% of the total deaths.

Geographically, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have had the largest numbers of deaths, combining to total 7,070, according to the Department of Health. But other areas, such as the Tampa Bay area, have also been hit hard. Hillsborough and Pinellas counties have combined to total 1,769 deaths. Duval County has recorded 569 deaths.

Florida and Jacksonville COVID-19 daily cases since June 1

News4Jax contributed to this report.

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